Rahane to lead India for first New Zealand Test

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Ajinkya Rahane will step in for the resting Virat Kohli. — Reuters file
Ajinkya Rahane will step in for the resting Virat Kohli. — Reuters file

New Delhi - Regular skipper Virat Kohli will return for the second Test in Mumbai


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Published: Fri 12 Nov 2021, 4:37 PM

Ajinkya Rahane will captain India in the first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur later this month, the Indian cricket board said Friday.

Rahane will step in for the resting Virat Kohli, 33, who will return as skipper for the second and final Test against the reigning World Test Championship (WTC) holders in Mumbai.

Citing his “immense workload,” Kohli recently quit as India’s T20I captain — replaced by Rohit Sharma — but will still lead the Asian giant’s Test and one-day sides.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India has also rested for the series other regulars such as Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, Sharma and Rishabh Pant after they spent months in bio-bubbles for the Indian Premier League (IPL) and T20 World Cup.

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin will lead India’s spin heavy bowling line-up which also includes rookie pacers Prasidh Krishna and Mohammed Siraj.

New Zealand have included five spinners in their 15-man Test squad and will arrive in India immediately after their T20 World Cup final against arch-rivals Australia in Dubai on Sunday.

The two Test teams last met at Southampton, England in June for the final of the inaugural WTC where India, led by Kohli, lost to New Zealand.

The Test series starts from November 25 but the two teams will first compete in three Twenty20 matches on November 17, 19 and 21 featuring the same squad currently contesting the T20 World Cup.

Squad: Ajinkya Rahane (C), KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara (VC), Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), KS Bharat (wicket-keeper), Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Md. Siraj, Prasidh Krishna. — AFP

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